Trump says Democrats tell ‘phony stories of sadness at Mexico border

Trump says Democrats tell ‘phony stories of sadness and grief‘ at the border after father of Honduran toddler in iconic photo says she was NEVER separated from her mom

blasted Democrats on Friday for leveraging ‘phony stories of sadness and grief‘ involving illegal immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-border, in order to make politcal hay in November‘s midterm elections.  

The president‘s tweeted broadside followed an exclusive DailyMail interview with the father of one such child, a crying Honduran girl whose image, captured close to midnight on June 12 near McAllen, , has become a rallying symbol for liberals and others in the Democratic voting base. 

Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, 32, said Thursday that the two-year-old girl and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, 32, were detained by immigration authorities in Texas after she applied for asylum – but the two were never separated.

Trump has pulled no punches when blasting those favoring looser restrictions on border-jumpers who want to stay in the United States.

‘We must maintain a Strong Southern Border. We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections,‘ he tweeted Friday. 

‘Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!‘

News stories in the past week have overflowed with images of children at Health and Human Services Department shelters, crowded in fence-partitioned intake centers and covered in metallic, heat-trapping blankets at night.

TIME magazine‘s July 2 cover features Yanela crying and looking up at President Trump, but her story was different from how it was initially portrayed

The Obama administration engaged in similar policies and news cycles in 2014 produced similar photos.

According to Reuters, the photo of Varela‘s daughter was used on a Facebook fundraiser that has drawn more than $17 million in donations from close to a half-million people for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, a Texas nonprofit that provides legal defense services to immigrants and refugees.  

Varela, who lives in Puerto Cortes, Honduras and works at a port as a captain, said a Honduran official in the U.S. has told him his wife and child are being detained at a family residential center but are together and are doing ‘fine.‘

‘I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border,‘ he said.  

He revealed that his wife had previously mentioned her wish to go to the United States for a ‘better future‘ but did not tell him or other family members that she was planning to make the trek.

‘I didn‘t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day,‘ he explained. 

‘I never got the chance to say goodbye to my daughter and now all I can do is wait,‘ he said, adding that he hopes they are either granted political asylum or sent back home.

‘I don‘t have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don‘t know what could happen.‘

The couple has three other children, son Wesly, 14, and daughters Cindy, 11, and Brianna, six.  

‘The kids see what‘s happening. They‘re a little worried but I don‘t try to bring it up that much. They know their mother and sister are safe now,‘ he said.

Varela added that he believes the journey to the U.S. is not something he would ever consider.

He said friends told him his wife paid $6,000 to a coyote – a human smuggler – to get herself and their taddler across the border.

‘I wouldn‘t risk my life for it. It‘s hard to find a good job here and that‘s why many people choose to leave. But I thank God that I have a good job here. And I would never risk my life making that journey,‘ he said.

Sandra was part of a group caught by U.S. Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft. 

The image of young Yanela was a factor in pressuring President Trump to make a U-turn on his immigration policy, signing an executive order that laid the groundwork for allowing illegal immigrant families to stay together while the adults‘ criminal cases unfold.

In the photograph, Yanela is pictured crying on a dirt track as a Border Patrol agent pats her mother down.

For many it represented cruelty in Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ two-month-old ‘zero tolerance‘ policy towards illegal immigrants, which has contributed to the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents and other guardians.